Archive for September, 2019

Novation LaunchKey Mini MK3 Midi Keyboard


Novation Launchkey Mini (MK3) 25-Key MIDI Keyboard


Novation has come up with a new and improved version of the LaunchKey Mini. The Launchkey Mini Mk3 is designed to be a portable controller for Ableton Live and the Mk3 reworking brings it line with the style of their SL Mk3 super-controller.


The Novation Launchkey Mini MK3 has a sleek design that is similar to its predecessor, the Mini MK2. As well as its 25 mini keys – which Novation says are its best, most responsive yet – this sports new pitch and modulation touchstrips, a sustain pedal input, and new RGB backlighting for the 16 pads. The LaunchKey Mini Mk3 has an arpeggiator. It can run up to 4 octaves in multiple directions and rhythms with swing and adjustable gate time. It has a Mutate mode which brings in interesting variations and a Deviate rhythm to explore a bit of unexpected movement. There is more, though, with the Fixed Chord mode and arpeggiator enabling you to trigger chords with a single note and turn held chords into riffs, melodies and sequences. The Fixed Chord enables you to store any chord you play and then play that same chord on any key you press and the chord stays in memory until you hit the button again.


LaunchKey Mini is designed for controlling Ableton Live 10 and there is a free “Lite” copy in the box to get you started. You can trigger Live 10’s Capture MIDI feature with a dedicated button, operate the transport and mixer, and tweak Device Macros with the eight included rotary controllers. This feature would enable you to cut down on your mouse and keyboard time.


Novation LaunchKey Mini Mk3 comes with mapping templates for other DAWs, too, while a MIDI Out means that it can be used with hardware synths as well. The supplied software bundle includes virtual instruments and plugin effects from AAS, Softube, Spitfire Audio, XLN Audio and Klevgrand.


The Novation LaunchKey Mini Mk3 is available now.


Arturia MICROLAB Midi Controller Keyboard



Arturia’s latest MIDI keyboard controller, the MicroLab. A super portable, 25-key velocity-sensitive MIDI keyboard, this promises several features that set it apart from the rest of the mini ketboard.


What is so unique about the Arturia MicroLab?


Let us look at the keys, the velocity-sensitive keys are of the same slim design as those on Arturia’s KeyStep controller, and given their size, is reasonably playable. A Hold button can be used to add sus-tain, while a push of the Shift key takes you into Chord mode. This enables you to program a chord and then play it back with a single finger.The Modulation and pitchbend are covered by dedicated touch strips which can also be used to browse and select presets, and you can switch MIDI channels using the dedicated knob and numbered keys.


The features – There is a rubberised shell to protect the MicroLab from bumps and scrapes, to ensure that the keyboard does not slip about when you are using it on a plane or train tray table and the keys are slightly recessed into the body so that nothing sticks out beyond the case. This would enable it easier to pack the Arturia MicroLab away in a backpack.


In addition, there is a recess that can store the supplied USB cable, and since this does not stick out when it is plugged in, you can push the MicroLab right up against other gear. The Arturia MicroLab includes  3 software titles for free, too: Analog Lab Lite, which contains 600 classic synth, organ and pi-ano presets; the UVI Grand Piano Model D, a sampled Steinway instrument; and an 8-track version of Bitwig.


The MicroLab comes is three colour options – Black, Blue and Orange, and is now available at $69/€69. It could end up being a big seller.